Breast milk that is! This post is for all you fellow pumping mamas out there.
Currently on a road trip to San Antonio, so since the hubby is driving and the baby is asleep in his car seat, I finally have time to update this thing! No other time like now as we are on our first road trip with the baby to talk about pumping, right?
This post is inspired by the fact that I am six and a half months in, currently pumping and breastfeeding and I have a mixed outlook on it all. In May, I had to travel for the first time, away from my baby for a work trip. For weeks I worried with angst, how would I manage pumping while traveling? What would I do with the milk? Would I be able to slip away discreetly while working to find a comfortable area in the convention center that wasn’t a cold bathroom? Well, the answer to all of those questions is that I managed to do it all without a hitch. I invested in a few awesome iceless ice packs, a soft sided cooler bag, packed up my pumping supplies and off on my trip I went.
Fortunately, the trade show I was working at, had a lounge sponsored by one of th major breast pump brands so that was a home run in terms of comfort and privacy, not to mention unlimited samples in each pumping space. I managed to store all of my milk that I pumped in my handy cooler bag until the long hours of the day ended and I could put it in the fridge in my hotel room.
On the return trip, I located one of the newly constructed nursing rooms at LAX and happily utilized it before my long flight home. All in all, pumping while traveling away from my baby, was a win win! I came home with a ton of milk, didn’t really lose supply and was greatful I didn’t have to throw it out. After all, how could I dump days and days worth of milk down the drain just to not be burdened with hauling back a cooler bag which must have weighed 15 pounds? That would have been extremely selfish of me.
After that successful experience, I was and still am, happy that I have not given up on providing my baby with the best form of food there is. But it comes with challenges and sacrifices. Like the other day, a dear friend invited me on a 24 hour getaway to her family lake house. While every part of me longs to get away and have 24 hours to just relax and enjoy some much needed girl time, my first thought was how is this to be relaxing when I pump four times a day! I would have to bring my pump, bottles, cleaning essentials and that trusty cooler again…
Hey ladies, I would love to be able to enjoy that bottle of wine with you, but I can’t because I am pumping. Yes, and I know a lot of you mamas are thinking, why doesn’t she just pump and dump? I will tell you why. Pumping four times a day is exhausting. It usually averages close to two hours of my day or more and it is a lot of work between the actual pumping, cleaning all the parts after each use, not to mention staying hydrated and eating enough to not let your milk supply drop! So you’re telling me, after priming my body all through out the day with enough water and food to keep my supply up and then spending all that time pumping and cleaning parts, to throw my milk down the drain just so I can enjoy a bottle of wine? I can’t bring myself to do that. And many may not understand that feeling. But I am attached to my milk that I pump. It is the food source for my baby, and dumping milk down the drain just so I can drink alcohol, is throwing his food away. Sorry, I just can’t.
I almost cried the other day when I clumsily knocked over a bottle of freshy pumped milk and lost a few valuable ounces. I did however, tell myself that I will make more and it was just an accident but since then, I cap those bottles as soon as I set them on the counter.
So yes, milk is on my mind. Every. Damn. Day. Every hour, of every day of every week and every month. Here’s to another six months and hoping milk doesn’t make me lose my mind!
Cheers to 🍼!